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Moral hierarchy for possible jobs

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SirValeq

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« on: <07-16-14/1433:07> »
Hi,

I've introduced my PCs to a very professional and "trustworthy" Johnson, who's interested in hiring them for more jobs. The first one was a theft and the Johnson was impressed by the way the PCs handled it.
Now, what I want to do is find out how far the players will go when it comes to questionable jobs. I'm not in a hurry, so instead of talking to them directly, I want to give them jobs (from a Johnson they "like") that go farther and farther to the dark side.

My questions: what kind of morally questionable jobs can be used between "steal this" and "kill and torture that 7-year-old"?
What do you think is worse: straight assassination of an innocent person or knowingly extracting/kidnapping said person to be used as a test subject in gruesome experiments? Is planting incriminating evidence in a do-gooder politician's office worse than helping out a crime boss with a drug deal?

What have you used to probe your players? Where did they draw the line?

TormDK

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« Reply #1 on: <07-16-14/1545:39> »
You can give them a wet work mission for something that might seem like it would benefit the people.

Like taking down a local gang somewhere that are terrorizing the populace in the area.

If they accept, let the first one go smoothly, and then have the Johnson target things that will help out his Corp in the process. As you progress, you could let little pieces of information slip here and there that the players may, or may not, pick up on that ties their activities into a larger tapestry.

In the end, they may very well wake up and smell the Soycaf after having helped the very thing some of them likely despise which could give some interesting RP topics when the Johnson offers them a corperate SiN and paid positions to match their skills.

Herohades

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« Reply #2 on: <07-16-14/1626:33> »
If you have more advanced players you could have the players kidnap someone of another corp and then the said corp is after them. Even more interesting would be if first contact between the players and the enemy corp be after they cut off connection from the employer so they have no help from them.

cr4kp0t

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« Reply #3 on: <07-16-14/1736:34> »
my next jobs would be something like....

sabotage:
sabotage a project of rival corp etc...
initially advertised to the runners a saving people's life from these evil people but turns out they are preventing a helpful technology being released to the masses.

Data Extract/evidence plant
erasing digital evidence of black activity for johnson, planting false evidence on a competitor. etc....

'Supresion'
keeping someone quiet....
can be done many ways including nast nasty ways.
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Reiper

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« Reply #4 on: <07-16-14/1755:45> »
Middle step towards darkness.

Kidnap retrieval. Little 8 year old girl kidnapped, Johnson wants her back. Trail leads to people X and Y, interrogation will be required, this may get them used to roughing people up a bit. Then they go to retrieve the girl and find her brutally murdered with the kidnappers still on scene and see if you can get a character to snap.


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Herohades

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« Reply #5 on: <07-17-14/1246:03> »
You always know a campaign will be good when its made to break the players. ;D

Blazrath

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« Reply #6 on: <07-17-14/2254:33> »
Well, some morally gray areas could be that you need to destroy a drug lab in a sketchy part of town. The fire takes care of anyone wanting to reuse it, but the chemicals get into the water table that the residents use for their normal water. It causes death and a mad rush of property sales. Any curious pcs would find a company has bought the area for dirt cheap in a way to buy back the slums.

Guarding a shipment that they are not allowed to look in. Turns out to be weapons to revolutionary fighters wanting to overthrow a government that likes a rival and hates them. Their direct actions has caused a nation to destabilize and cause lots of dead.

Deliver a package to the Lone Stars showing different politicians and/or execs taking bribes.

Do a bank job to steal whats in the safe deposit boxes, the main box targeted was owned by a different Mr. Johnson. In there was the pay meant for a different group of runners getting info from the business.

Protect the life of a Dictator.
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Poindexter

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« Reply #7 on: <07-18-14/0203:02> »
the trick when you give em shady stuff to do is to give em good reasons it needs doing.
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Reiper

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« Reply #8 on: <07-18-14/0321:47> »
My shadiest one that really irriated the team was basically this:

Old man comes into their clinic battered and beaten, gives a sob story about their community center in one of the Barrens being overrun with a gang and they got kicked out. Area is known for haunting and stuff, but it was the old people who were mostly very weak illusionists.

Team goes in and clears it out (I generally do mages with spirits of man posing as the actual gangers), wipe them out and let the old folks move back in.

Ends up 4 of the old guys are a lot more powerful than anticipated just masking their aura to look really weak. Basically they were setting up a blood magic ritual when the other mages kicked them out (they knew it was a black magic haven (I just blanked on what the area for a certain tradition is called, sorry)). But basically by letting them back in leads to the old people going through with a blood magic ritual to make them younger, but it required the sacrifice of 15 Metahumans.

And they used their illusion magic to make it look like the team actually did the sacrificing by being seen masking as the team on external security footage.

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TheDai

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« Reply #9 on: <07-18-14/0807:34> »
Protect an assassin:

A Client of Mr. Johnson has received Death-threats. There is a big "Gala" (or something along these lines) and he wants protection while he is there. Johnson pays for good clothes, its glamour all over the place, everything is shiny and beautiful, and maybe they actually need to protect him from something.
And then, your PC's lose sight of him for a moment, BOOM, two people drop dead and your Players have to get out of there, before anyone starts to ask risky questions about them.

Mr. Johnson, of course, is absolutely shocked that his Client might have been a "hired assassin" and of course, the players were never meant to feel like  a decoy or Knight Errand bait. He would NEVER think about killing i.e. the lawyers trying to bring down the head of the Yakuza, or Journalists which poked a little too deep in the territory of someone.
Because Mr. Johnson is the good Guy. He is as baffled as you are.

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Herohades

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« Reply #10 on: <07-18-14/0959:20> »
Ooh ooh, I got a good one. So the Mr. Johnson has the characters blow up a building, because he says it has an insect spirit nest in it. The real reason behind the building's destruction is that it has useful resources beneath it, so the buildings getting destroyed to access the resources easier. The catch is that the "abandoned, spirit ridden building" is resident to a family with little to no money. They can be pushed to investigate and find out about the family.

Poindexter

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« Reply #11 on: <07-18-14/1347:56> »
Middle step towards darkness.

Kidnap retrieval. Little 8 year old girl kidnapped, Johnson wants her back. Trail leads to people X and Y, interrogation will be required, this may get them used to roughing people up a bit. Then they go to retrieve the girl and find her brutally murdered with the kidnappers still on scene and see if you can get a character to snap.

THIS HERE is genius.

make em do morally questionable things for a morally sound reason, then AFTER they do the questionable things, yank the justification for them out from under the group.

meeeeeaaaaaaan.
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Reiper

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« Reply #12 on: <07-19-14/0356:45> »
Middle step towards darkness.

Kidnap retrieval. Little 8 year old girl kidnapped, Johnson wants her back. Trail leads to people X and Y, interrogation will be required, this may get them used to roughing people up a bit. Then they go to retrieve the girl and find her brutally murdered with the kidnappers still on scene and see if you can get a character to snap.

THIS HERE is genius.

make em do morally questionable things for a morally sound reason, then AFTER they do the questionable things, yank the justification for them out from under the group.

meeeeeaaaaaaan.

Then the next time, it is just that much easier to do for a less morally sound reason.
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DreamAtelier

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« Reply #13 on: <07-30-14/0748:14> »
If I'm escalating with my players, I typically go:

Theft -> Sabotage -> Intimidation -> Extraction of a willing target (via rescue or someone who wants to change corps) -> extraction of an (unknown to them) unwilling target -> Straight up Kidnapping -> Torture -> Straight up Murder -> Worse

One thing I will say though, is that you can't make it too obvious what you are doing.  It's always worth backing down a little bit in between each stage, particularly if they seemed hesitant.  So after the sabotage, maybe they steal some data or materials.  Then after the willing target extraction, maybe they do some more sabotage on things he tells them about.

Oh, and don't be surprised when your group jumps a few spots in the hierarchy without your prompting.  A lot of times players get intimidation confused with torture, for instance, or they'll go on the willing extraction and gun down the security around the guy with lethal force.  It doesn't mean they've suddenly decided they're good with being hired to do what they just did of their own volition (I've often had players balk at wet work when they just left a half dozen corp-sec corpses behind on their previous run.  So far none of them have been able to give me a convincingly reasoned ethical argument for that attitude, but there you have it).

SirValeq

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« Reply #14 on: <07-30-14/0917:46> »
It doesn't mean they've suddenly decided they're good with being hired to do what they just did of their own volition (I've often had players balk at wet work when they just left a half dozen corp-sec corpses behind on their previous run.  So far none of them have been able to give me a convincingly reasoned ethical argument for that attitude, but there you have it).

I'm pretty sure it's because of Hollywood. In literally every movie (even historical romances or family comedies...) the unnamed guards or soldiers or cops die by the dozens and the viewer is supposed NOT to care, because only the heroes matter. People bring that attitude into gaming, I guess.
Best examples are movies like "2012" where you have scenes showing hundreds of people die screaming, but you (the viewer) are supposed to be cheerful and happy because the few main characters got away.